tv [untitled] August 20, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
>> all right. >> so that's just a glimpse of those successful four weeks and i'd like to have sally come just for a couple minutes and share with her -- with you personal experiences regarding this. >> thanks. just want to thank parks and rec and especially steve and vicky for the amazing summer my son had. jonah is 10 years old. he's severely autistic. he's not verbal. every year we get the park and rec wonderful offerings. my daughter talks about what she's going to sign up for. it's it's what can we do for jonah? jonah goes to camp mom as steve alluded to and it's just not the same as being out with other kids his own age.
it's so good for the kids. it's so good for the families. it's so good for the siblings to see their siblings can go out. jonah has not been away from me. steve's son, my son, they're quite affected. they are not going to go into new spaces, overwhelming spaces without a structure and support and every day jonah happily got out of the car, ran to his wonderful aide, chris, and came home filthy. came home with dirt from climbing up the canyon and with the rope swings. and just happy, happy child. like every parent dreams of having is a happy child who goes to camp and enjoys his summer rather than enjoying the summer of no structure. i can't tell you what this has meant to all the families. i talked to the parents. they can't wait until next year. as steve alluded to, this is a long list for the camp.
i am hopeful. i want to work with parks and reck to expand this -- rec to expand this so more children with parent. hopefully with the speerties that vicky brings with -- expertise that vicky brings with this maybe we can get an after-school program. every kid deserves what all san francisco kids have which is a wonderful, wonderful youth program as you alluded to. it's expanded, the youth program in the city is amazing. this is a wonderful, embracing city that's done a lot for our kids and now i am really grateful that we're depog some for our kids with you a -- doing so much for our kids with autism as well. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> i want to thank those on my staff who has worked especially hard to raise the funds for this camp. they are extraordinary and they are to be commended for their work. president buell: thank you. >> is there any public comment on this item? being none, public comment is
closed. president buell: commissioner lee. commissioner lee: i just want to commend you all on the work that you're doing here. i have a close family friend who also has a child who's autistic. and, you know, it's a growing problem in san francisco. you see a large population that i think is growing and there is some research that shows there's a correlation with the demographics of the city, given our city is older, becoming an older city and as parents are starting families later and later in their lives that autism just seems to be on the rise. so this is something that is needed and maps with the trajectory of the demographics in the city. i was amazed to see that this program is essentially entirely
privately funded. through foundation grants. and that you are able to put a program together funded almost entirely from donations. i don't recall another program like that that was started up so quickly and that you managed to pull together. this is really a great testament to your work. president buell: i have a question, if i could. is there more capacity at the camp? if there was more money could they accommodate more kids? >> yes. president buell: what's the ratio of how much we can serve versus who we can serve? >> 2-1. there were kids that wanted to participate in the camp that couldn't. president buell: if we raised twice as much money you could accommodate that full list? >> that's correct. >> the camp ran for four weeks. we'd like to run it, you know, all summer long and i think
vicky has some additional capacity. obviously the key to the program is the one-on-one assistance that our kids get. but i think there is more capacity in the space and we'd certainly like to run it for a longer season. and my staff is also very creative. has begun to envision -- i don't know what the mission is. the saturday monthly sessions. one of the things i was most struck by, mr. president, is the conversations that i've had with steven and other parents who said, you don't know -- you don't really know what this does, not just for our kids but for us whether we can invest a little time in other siblings or in each other. and how important that is to having a productive healthy family. we are determined to figure out how to grow this program. president buell: i was going to say, stating the obvious but i think we ought to put in our
goals a way to fill that camp with everybody that would like to go. commissioner harrison. commissioner harrison: what's the age? range you can accommodate now? >> up to 12 years old. 8 to 12. commissioner harrison: so you're looking forward to -- >> sorry, 6 to 12. as steven said, the goal would to go older. i'd leave that up to vicky and the other staff to determine how best to do that, whether they want to expand both older and the numbers or just expand the numbers and the age range that we have now. president buell: thank you. barring any further questions, could we get a motion? >> so moved. president buell: seconded. all those in favor. aye. no opposition. thank you very much, everybody, that participated in this. >> thank you, commissioner. >> we are on item number 10, the japanese teagarden.
>> that's a hard act to follow. beautiful presentation, really. i was here at the operations committee meeting, as you know. this is sort of a culmination of a long process with the japanese teagarden. we started with request for proposals for new operator which was selected and carol has been in operation for two full years. beginning i think next -- beginning of next month. part of her proposal was $500,000 gift in her proposal for the rehabilitation of the tea house and the gift shop in the japanese teagarden that was very generously given by jack hirose which probably spurred the idea of naming the tea house for jack to begin with.
but once i started doing a lot of research on jack, i mentioned at the committee meeting, i was very impressed by his broad background in the city and more specifically in the japanese american community. jack was born and raised in san francisco. his parents immigrated from japan along with other japanese and japanese american individuals was sent to internment camps during world war ii. during that work he helped bring extra dollars. at that point he joined the united states army as a translator and worked under general mcarthur and stayed in japan after the war for a period of time and then he moved back to san francisco and went to college and got a degree in accounting. ended up starting his own business because the prejudice
still remained after the war and he was really not able to be hired by large companies. but the -- this is the great part of knowing about jack after i've gotten to know him is that he spent all of the time he was away in the country thinking what he was going to do for him and his family and his friends from the japanese american community in san francisco when he came back here. so rather than let things like that get him down he started his business to reach out for japanese companies so that he would -- he would bring them and his clients. in 1959 he first approached the city about operating the concessions in the japanese teagarden. it had just returned to be called the japanese teagarden. during the war it was called the oriental garden. that was an enormous public event when it was turned back to japanese teagarden. so jack operated the
concessions in the teagarden along with his other businesses from 1959 to 1992. and over the course -- if you recalculate the dollars, according to improvements that he's put into the guarden including this $500,000 that he gave to ms. mirata, he's given almost $1 million thus far. but i think the most important thing and the reason that the san francisco foundation approached us about naming the tea house for jack was his undying effort to and his philanthropy and generosity for so many organizations in san francisco in and out of the japanese american community, to be able to honor him in this way. i had the distinct pleasure, actually, if you want to call it that, of attending jack's funeral in 2009 because even though i didn't know him really well personally i think when
you go to a memorial service or a funeral for somebody, even if you know them well you walk away knowing so much more about that individual. to stand up and listen to those i know well, those in the japanese american community, stand up and tell how much he affected their lives and what he did for them, laura can i mora is someone i met because he's our accountant for some of our past concessions. i didn't know he and jack's son, don, worked in the tea house when they were in high school. so it was a huge fabric that was brought together in my mind. so with that -- and i attached a biography, i think, in your pact and you have letters of recommendations -- in your packet and you have letters of recommendations supporting this, i wanted to bring this to your request and personally it's been a great adventure for
me to get to know more about jack and what he means for the community and exactly how much it meant for the community to have the garden rehar bill tated as it is today. i'm hoping within the next month or two, part of the general manager's report, we have a lot of pictures collected of the work that's been done in the garden and if you have not gone by the garden recently you should do that. i'd also like to thank rick from the capital division because the city had a part in this. we actually replaced another bridge as part of these improvements and rick did an outstanding job in getting that done. president buell: thank you. >> we do have public comment. don timaki and sandy mori. >> thank you, commissioners, and general manager ginsburg,
thank you. tom, you are also a hard act to follow. i think you did well in summarizing jack's life and, of course, we recognize the generosity of his gift done to the san francisco japantown foundation so that his intern can fund the renovations that was badly needed in the japanese teagarden but also jack hirose is a hero within the japanese american community. as you can see from the letters for a number of reasons. so what we're actually talking about is his legacy. it's not only the legacy of this individual in the japanese american community but it's part of the fabric of the city of san francisco that i think tom outlined. his parents immigrated like so many japanese americans from san francisco at the turn of the century. at a time of ultraracism, ultrasegregation in this community. and despite that in the most --
in the finest way of american tradition, overcame that. world war ii happened, of course. like others, 110,000 others, jack hirose's family wound up inturned in toe paz, combruth, -- topaz, because he looked like the enemy along with the rest of the families. he volunteered to work with the military intelligence service which trained at the presidio in secret while their families remained incarcerated in various internment camps throughout the united states. i think the most important that throughout that never lost faith in america and came back to the japanese american community as a major contributor and supporter. and so i represent the san francisco japantown foundation. jack was a founding member of that foundation. was founded in 2005, and because of contributions,
including jack's, we've given away dozens of grants to cultural community educational groups. and in the latest opportunity, played a role in working with tom and his staff in connection with renovating the japanese teagarden. so we think it's singularly fitting to name the fey house after him and -- tea house after him and then in commemoration of his contributions and also the contributions of japanese americans generally in the city of san francisco, we think it's fitting to also have the placement of that plaque. so i really want to thank you for the opportunity to address you on this. and it's a pleasure, really, to work with the staff of the park and rec department. i complend tom for doing such a fine -- i commend tom for doing such a fine job working with the community. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> good afternoon.
president buell and members of the commission and director ginsburg. i'm sandy mori. i'm a member of the directors of the japantown foundation and a founder. don is our president. present today is keith komasu kimbings. when you see the renovation of the teagarden you'll be pleased of this very culturally appropriate venue and you'll love the design and the fact that the wood in the tea house has no nails in it. that's one of the very well-known japanese car pen tree techniques. -- carpentry techniques. carol has done a wonderful job making sure that everything in there is appropriate, very culturally sensitive.
i'd like to acknowledge her work. she is here today, along with her staff. and i'd like to call carol up to the podium with me and have her show a few photos that she took recently to show you the recent renovations so that you could get a little bit pictorial idea about what it looks like now. and also while she's coming up, i want to commend your staff person, tom hart, who we've worked with. our board member bob, has been working closely on. tom has been giving us the guide anls as we go through this process in asking for this request. so this is carol mirata. we'd like to show you some of the photos. i don't know if you could see it. this is before and after. president buell: can you pass those closer up? we'd love to see them. >> great.
president buell: thank you. >> so, commissioners, jack's family, his wife and son, would be so delighted with this particular commemoration and plaque and designation of the tea house. so we ask you for your support on this request. thank you very much. president buell: thank you very much. >> is there anyone else who would like to make public comment about this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. president buell: commissioner lee. commissioner lee: these photos look great. i was commenting with my commissioner up here, commissioner harrison, the bridgework looks terrific.
commissioner harrison: it really does. commissioner lee: the gentlemen that did the interior work, lynn brackett, who has appeared before the commission before, his company did the interior work of the tea house and the gift shop was also contracted to do this bridge as well. and for the first time i will say that this is the first time that the tea house in the japanese tea garden will be accessible. from going from the street into the large project. so the tea house now is fully accessible. a.d.a. accessible. this is terrific work and i think, you know, the community has from the beginning has really stepped up and i think it's fully appropriate to name the building after -- i mean,
made it all happen. i remember when mr. hirose came before us just shortly before he passed away, i think it was just a few months after he spoke in front of this commission that he faffed away. and i think it's fitting that now that the vision that was outlined to this commission last year's finally coming through fruition that we should recognize the work of mr. hirose. president buell: thanks, tom. seeing no other questions i'd just observe i can't imagine a more appropriate thing to do. and thank the community for coming forward and making this recommendation. thanks, tom. have a motion. >> so moved. president buell: moved. seconded. all those in favor. aye. it is unanimous. thank you. >> item number 11 is the new park at 17th and folsom.
>> hello. i'll also try and follow those two presentations. i am very pleased to be before you to present an opportunity for this commission to recommend to the board of supervisors that we build a new park. it's a pretty special day i think for the recreation and park commission and for our park system which is old and always needs new things like this. the item before you was originally presented at the july capital committee and received a recommendation to approve. we were working on some of the details of the m.o.u. and so that's why we're bringing it back to you today. we've been working very closely with a lot of partners, clubs the p.u.c., which is the current owner of the site, and the mayor's offers of housing and we're finalizing some of the details of the paying back of funds for cleanup and other items and those are still in progress but the park and the
plans are definitely exciting and moving forward so i wanted to -- we wanted to bring it to you today. first, i want to talk about i think the funding. i want to talk a little bit about the fact this park would be in a very high-needs neighborhood. the community outreach to date, an overview of the park and our next steps. i'm also -- i'd also like to recognize i'm joined by a whole fleet of members of our city family that's been working very hard on this. susan from the planning department. jay from the n.t.a., april from supervisor kim's office. john is here from the department of real estate. the p.u.c., mayor's office of housing. they're all here if you have any questions about the project. so i think that the funding story on this park is excellent. we have funds for the acquisition. all the various life cycles of a park. we have funds for the acquisition through the eastern neighborhood impact fees, for the development through the
prop 84 state grant that you allowed us to apply for several months ago on this project. we also have funds for maintenance from the eastern neighborhood impact fees. there's not too many times i think a project comes before us that has this kind of funding behind it. so all of those funding sources are from non-r.p.d. sources. i also like to highlight because we have these funding sources and the park is in such a high needs neighborhood it would score at the top of the list with our new draft acquisition policy that the parks and open space advisory committee and the department staff has been working very hard and will be bringing back before you in september. it's precisely this kind of project that led to prozac and other members of the community saying we really need to look at our acquisition policy. this park was -- is in a
neighborhood, as you can see from these two diagrams, in a very high-needs neighborhood in both the 16986 recreation and open stays element of the city's general plan and even today in the new draft revised 2011 high-needs area map that's included in the draft roads. so -- in other words, for the last 20 years this has been a high-needs neighborhood. it will continue to be a high-needs neighborhood and this park is one step i think in moving this neighborhood forward and providing more park space. within a half mile radius from the site there is approximately .36 acres. that's less than half an acre of open space for 1,000 residents compared to the city average of 6.7 acres for 1,000 residents. after years of analysis and community planning, the eastern neighborhoods plan has been adopted which provides improvements to the neighborhoods in eastern san francisco.
so i'm here providing -- this is images of the plan areas that are included in the eastern neighborhoods plan which is an adopted citywide plan which will bring new housing and new resources, just parks and other improvements to these neighborhoods. in the mission neighborhood alone, and i'm going to highlight -- that's the green one -- in the mission neighborhood alone that will result in up to 2,000 new housing units, a population increase up to 7,000 people and, again, within the half mile radius of the site and the site is represented with the red star, there are only .3 acres of open space per 1,000 residents. so the outreach process on this park has been long. in fact, i think you'll hear later from members of podair, oscar who spoke at last month's meeting, this project's actually been talked about by the community for years, starting with the department actively in 2009 and through
the eastern neighborhoods process an idea of a new park in this area has been discussed for quite sometime. there have been over 15 community meetings with over 300 participants and we've been again partnering with podair, which is the people organizing to demand environmental and economic rights. i think you're going to hear more from them a bit later. we will further detail the design for the play gruned other elements in the park and the n. -- m.t.a. is working with a park plan to have it from a paid parking lot to a farc. meeting with all the local businesses and the various community groups involved will continue this fall. i wanted to show you an image of some of you -- at the full commission meeting when we brought this before you, a lot
of the members were able to attend. a lot of those kids are in school today and couldn't ble here again today. i wanted to mention that they came and represented their support for this project. again, the m.t.a., the planning department, community organizations, supervisors kim and camp oasto s's office. we have -- canpos'office. so currently the site is a paid parking lot owned by the san francisco public utilities commission. it's surrounded by residentses, businesses, community organizations and a high-density, low-income, culturally diversed neighborhood diefficient of open space.
-- deficient of open space. what happened there? so this is the portion of the site that would be occupied by the park. the other portion would be -- at the same project being sold to the mayor's office of housing. our park would take up approximately half of the site. and the parking lot would continue to function for at least a year into -- in its current condition until 2012 and during that time we'll be working with the mayor's office -- excuse me -- the metropolitan transportation authority tanned others to develop parking strategies to make improvements to the neighborhood parking availability and, again, the rest of the portion of the site will continue to function as it is until the mayor's office of housing will move forward with their project which i understand could be quite a few year